Thea Potter

Published On


Page Range

pp. 195-238

Print Length

43 pages

6. Geophilia Entombed or the Boundary of a Woman’s Mind

  • Thea Potter (author)
In Chapter Six (‘Geophilia Entombed or the Boundaries of a Woman’s Mind’) I return once again to the archaeological record to discover the material remains of the horos. Horos was also inscribed upon the gravestone, a reminder for the living of this most basic of boundaries. Even here a limit remains, for it is only in our translation of the stone into a memorial that conjures up the ghost of the dead. With a study of ancient drama and the role burial rites play in the signification of death, I discover another aspect of the horos. Burial rites have long been associated exclusively with Sophocles’ Antigone and the conflict between two different regimes of justice. Horos is what remains as the trace of our division from nature, and it also marks the futility of this division since we must all and without exception inevitably find a home for ourselves in the earth, inevitably engraving us all in a common fate. In this guise, the horos describes the boundary between the human and the organic world but is also dependent, in the archaic period in particular, on a reciprocal relationship between the living and the dead: I call this the economics of death.


Thea Potter